Aechmea fasciata comes from humid tropical areas and is the best known bromeliad. It flowers from mid Summer through Winter.
Fill center funnel with soft water, allow excess to trickle into soil. Soil should be just moist and not soggy. Rain water is best. Empty funnel and change water every 3 weeks.
Feed with standard liquid fertilizer at half strength once every month in Summer.
Re-pot in Spring. When plant dies or becoming shrivelled, remove offset shoots from base carefully retaining some root when about one third the size of the parent plant. Pot up individually into 13 cm pots. They will not need re-potting again.
Some growers prefer not to remove offsets for propagation, but to make room for the new rosettes to grow in the original pot. Using a sharp knife cut the old rosette at the lowest possible when it has become shrivelled.
The plant needs good light for flowering. When flower spike has died cut the stem at base with secateurs.
If flower bud is not formed after 18 months when the plant was bought, cover the plant with a polythene bag for 4 weeks enclosing a rotten apple core.
Along with other bromeliads Aechmeas look attractive on an epiphyte branch.
Pots should be stood on trays of moist pebbles.
The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago.